Lake Placid Classic Recap

Last weekend I ran my only tune-up race before the 2016 Chicago Marathon in gorgeous Lake Placid, New York. The Classic, in its 46th year, is known as “The Original Lake Placid Half Marathon.”

The race is known for its gorgeous views and challenging course profile. This was my second time participating in this race, as I ran back in 2014 when I finished 18th in a time of 1:37:50.

We left early the morning of the race and traveled the approximately hour and half to Lake Placid. We arrived in plenty of time and picked up my bib, race shirt and commemorative pint glass. The family hung out on the Olympic Oval that hosted the 1980 Winter Games where Eric Heiden won 5 gold medals and set four Olympic Records and one World Record in the process. Jen and I have had the opportunity to skate on history — many years ago pre-children. Parker and I completed some warm-up laps, took some pictures and prepared for the race.

The course begins right out in front of the Olympic Oval and makes it way through town, around Mirror Lake and out of town past the Ski Jumping Complex before making it’s way out to River Road and gorgeous scenery.

The race went about as well as I could have hoped and I was running on pace through the first 10 miles. However, the last 3 miles I just didn’t have the legs to power through the hills and fell behind my pace. I crossed the finish line in 1:29:40, beat my personal course best by 8:10 and finished 1:02 short of my personal best. I love races where my son, the avid runner, can cross the finish line with me; it’s a special moment for both him and I and I love seeing the smile on his face.

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I finished in 4th place overall, 3rd male and first in my 30-39 age group. For my efforts I received a nice rustic plaque (although a new one is being sent because the manufacturer made an error and printed 5K on them rather than 13.1), a $50 gift certificate to a local running store, wonderful medal and the confidence heading into Chicago that my next goal is within reach.

 


On your mark…

It’s that time of year everybody – race season! Tomorrow begins a stretch of 3 races over the next two months. I begin with the Lake Placid Classic (a half marathon tune-up), followed by the Chicago Marathon on October 9th and close out the year with the New York City Marathon on November 6th.

Lake Placid Classic:

I last ran this event in 2014 and finished  a respectable 18th overall in 1:37:50, my best time at this point in history.

I hadn’t trained then nearly as hard as I have the last two years and since this race in 2014 I have lowered my half marathon time to 1:28:50. I have ambitions to best this time tomorrow, giving me a large boost of confidence as I begin my taper for Chicago. I’m realistic that this may not happen and I’m just hoping to enjoy the event and finish healthy.

2016 Chicago Marathon:

IMG_1624My “Main Event” this fall, this will be my second Chicago Marathon in a row. This is a special event for the fact that I am a member of Team Up! with Autism Speaks and running on behalf of my son. I’m saddened to know that Jen is not able to run this race with me this year after all her hard work training and fundraising due to her injury, but she’ll still be going and participating in most of festivities.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t aiming for a PR. I have worked hard all summer in pursuit of this goal. 30 more days before I see if it was enough.

 

 

New York City Marathon:

0038tMy final event for 2016 is the biggest of all marathons. Last year I ran this event on short notice as a last-minute charity runner. I finished under 3:30 and was impressed that I even ran that fast coming back from a great run in Chicago only weeks earlier. I definitely have a lot more understanding and respect for this race course now and although I don’t anticipate aiming for a PR, I would like to improve on my time from last year.

 

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When Things Don’t Go As Planned…

I (Jen) have been putting off writing this post for about a week now, probably because I’ve been trying not to think about it. I haven’t been able to run in nearly three weeks, and have had to defer the Chicago Marathon to 2017.

Lets back up a bit.

A few days before we left for Michigan my hips were sore, but that isn’t out of the ordinary for me. My hips get cranky frequently. I figured they just needed some extra stretching or foam rolling and I’d be good to go. Here’s how the next few days progressed

Saturday: Three miles on the schedule. I had woken up still feeling stiff and sore from being in the car for 18 hours, so I took it really easy. My right hip felt tight, but not overly uncomfortable

Sunday: 16 miles on the schedule, completed 15. My hips were both still really stiff so I was making a lot of stops to stretch and still taking it slowly. By the end of the run it was starting to get pretty uncomfortable but I didn’t really think much of it. I had run out of town and had Travis pick me up when I was finished and I remember him telling me just to stretch it really well and relax.

The view from my last long run- headed towards Lake Superior in the distance.

Monday: Rest day, lots of stretching but my right hip was really sore. We didn’t bring our foam roller along so I made do with a lacrosse ball that my brother had to try to get things loosened up.

Tuesday: Was planning on three easy miles, couldn’t make it through one. Every time I was landing and pushing off with my right leg I was getting pain all through my hip, and everything was seizing up (the feeling was like when you get a foot cramp). After talking to my coach we decided that a few days rest were in order.

Over the next few days the pain wasn’t letting up and I was feeling it while I was walking as well. All of the surrounding muscles were really tight and the joint of my hip was very tender. I got a massage and saw a chiropractor- the only things I could really do at that point being 18 hours away from home. My SI joint was really out of alignment and I was hoping that after an adjustment I would start to feel better, but no such luck.

I put in a call to my primary doctor, knowing that I would need a referral to see a PT. They weren’t able to get me an appointment for six weeks and were not willing to write a referral without physically seeing me. There wasn’t much I could do from Michigan so I would have to wait until we got home to try to figure out getting a PT referral. I called a ton of different doctors locally and nobody was able to get me into their schedule.

Once we were home I tested out my hip with a very short run to see if the several days off had helped. It hadn’t. I was also getting pain from just walking around the house doing normal activities and would end up limping by the days end.

Still not able to get an appointment, I called a friend of ours that is a physical therapist and she was willing to see me to take a look and give a general recommendation on what I could do. After checking the range of motion and doing several other tests with me she informed me that she was almost certain that I had a labral tear but I would need to follow up with orthopedic and have some imaging done to confirm it. Definitely not the news I wanted to hear.

After a lot of thinking and a few tears I decided that it was time to back out of the upcoming races- both Ragnar Adirondacks and Chicago.

A few days later I was in a lot of pain and decided to make a trip to urgent care. Within minutes of being there I had a referral to an orthopedic surgeon and an appointment for ten days later.

I still don’t have any concrete answers, and I’m not expecting them to come quickly. My appointment with the surgeon’s PA is on Monday, and I’ll still have to schedule any imaging after that.

To say that I’m not extremely disappointed about missing both of the races would be a lie. I gave myself a day to be angry about it and am now doing my best to shake it off. The only thing I can focus on now is rehabbing my hip so that I can get back to running again as soon as possible.In the meantime, I’m doing what I can in terms of exercising and going a little stir crazy in the process (there’s been a lot of crochet happening around here). My PT friend recommended not doing a ton until I saw ortho, so I’m trying to follow orders and keeping my fingers crossed that I won’t need surgery.

I also have to take into consideration how well the training was going before this all started, and I can be happy with what I had accomplished up to this point. I’m looking forward to coming back stronger than before.

 

Dont give up a goal due to the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway:

I’m still looking forward to heading back to Chicago to cheer on Travis while he runs and am thinking about what other races I’d like to do next year.

 

Phew. That ended up being a lot longer than I planned. Kudos to you if you made it to the end!

 

 


Travis’ Look Back at Nine Weeks of Training

Good morning and welcome back to the Tale of 2 Halfs.

This week I began the back half of my training plan for the Chicago Marathon and am currently only 57 days away from the start line. I thought this would be a great time to recap how my training went over the first nine weeks and look ahead to what’s in store over the final days.

I began this training plan by taking the entire first scheduled week of runs off as I had just completed the 2016 Buffalo Marathon and was still recovering from that hot and humid race. I picked up at the start of week two and haven’t looked back since.

Here are some stats:

Number of Runs: 49 Activities
Distance: 375.12 mi
Avg Run Distance: 7.66 mi
Total Time: 49:01:52 h:m:s
Elevation Gain: 7,487 ft
Avg Speed: 7.7 mph
Calories Burned: 36,650 C

Over the course of eight weeks of running, I missed one scheduled run as part of a two-a-day and had to alter three other runs for various reasons. In total, I missed 7.75 scheduled miles – by far the fewest miles missed during the first half of a training plan and definitely an improvement over my last training cycle for the Buffalo Marathon. However, this week and next will be a challenge to get my runs completed with traveling and such, but that’s for the second half recap.

Over the next two months, I hit the longest of my long runs at 22 miles and have one final tune-up half marathon on September 10th at the Lake Placid Classic. Fundraising for Team Up! with Autism Speaks is complete, with hopefully a little more trickling in over the last days.

I’m looking forward to toeing the line in Chicago and going for a PR.


Weekly Wrap #34: 8/1-8/7

Hello from Upper Michigan! We left New York Thursday evening and arrived late Friday morning. Traveling at night with the kids makes for an easier trip as we can make good time without a ton of stops while they sleep. It does however, make for a long night for mom and dad. We were downright exhausted Friday when we got into town.
Since we’ve been here it’s been pretty go, go, go. We split time with both of our families who are conveniently 20 minutes apart. Saturday morning we took the kids to the beach that has a huge park attached to it. They had an absolute blast! Who wouldn’t on a structure like this?! 

On Sunday Travis and I were able to sneak away for a while while the kids hung out with Grandma and Papa. We headed to a local golf course for our first 9 holes of the season. I haven’t swung a club in several years so it wasn’t overly pretty… But I did have a nice chip in on hole two from 15 or so yards out.

Here’s our workouts from last week:

Travis: This week officially concluded the first half of marathon training. As any person would be, I’m happy to be halfway home but know that I have a ton of miles still to come the next few months. Although exhausted, I’m injury free which is the most important. On a side note, Jen and I have completed the Run the Year challenge this week and now push towards new mileage records!

Monday: 6 miles @ 8:10 pace

Tuesday: 10 miles Marathon Pace (7:10 min/mile)

Wednesday: 5 miles + Strides @ 8:26 pace

Thursday: 12 miles (planned 13) @ Marathon Pace (7:06 min/mile)

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 15 mile Long Run @ 8:09 pace

Sunday: 6 miles @ 8:10 pace

Total Weekly Mileage: 54 Miles


Jen:

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: 3.5 miles

Wednesday: 1 mile warm up, 4×1 mile with 0.5 mile recovery, 1 mile cool down. 7.5 miles total

Thursday: 3 miles

Friday: Rest day

Saturday: 3 miles

Sunday: 15 miles



Friday Five 8/5: Let the Games Begin

Good morning and welcome back to the Tale of 2 Halfs. Today we are concluding our drive to Michigan and are looking forward to some relaxation over the next week. After arriving tonight, you can bet that we will be watching the opening ceremonies of the Rio Olympics. With the world’s eyes set on Rio, we thought we would share five things we are most excited to watch. 

1. Michael Phelps: What an amazing athlete! Phelps is younger than Travis, and we have been watching him for over 16 years. We appreciate his success for Team USA, but more significantly, we recognize that he is in fact an imperfect human being. He has been down, in trouble with the law and retired from the sport. He was selected by Team USA to carry the US flag in the opening ceremonies, a tremendous honor for the greatest Olympian of all time.

2. The Marathon: What kind of Olympic fans would we be without watching  the signature event of the modern Olympics. There are numerous storyline of interest – including the suspicions of Kenyan athletes drug use, the last Olympics for Meb Keflezighi and also the emergence of Galen Rupp on the men’s side. With Amy, Shalane  and Desi representing the American women hopefully we can pick up a medal.

3. Beach Volleyball: A favorite for Jen, this Olympics marks the end for Kerri Walsh-Jennings. A three-time World Champion and undefeated in the Olympics, having never lost a game in 2004, 2008 or 2012 with former partner Misty May. A fun sport, with a great location on the famous Copacabana Beach.

4. Utter Domination: Some times you have an individual or team come along that is leaps and bounds (Olympic humor!!) above the competition. We look forward to the USA dominating in Basketball, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Gymnastics, Women’s Volleyball, and Women’s  Water Polo with outstanding individual performances from Ashton Eaton, Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky to name a few. This year’s women’s team is crazy good!

5. Different Sports: The great part about the Olympics is the coverage of “other” sports that we may only get to watch every four years. Personally my list of different sports I love watching include all thing Archery and Shooting, Rowing and Canoeing, Track Cycling and BMX. With good medal chances in all except Canoeing, these events should be fun to watch.

We hope you take time to support Team USA as they Go for Gold and represent the very best of the United States athletically. These athletes have trained for years, decades for some, and have earned the right to be called an an Olympian. Best of luck to all!